Give me the Loop, give me the Loop.

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Last month we journeyed down to Seattle to partake in some good old-fashioned ball-gaming with the Seattle Mariners. Note: after two years of playing softball (on an award-winning team, to boot), it was on this trip that I discovered that ‘rover’ is not an actual position in baseball. While we busted some serious moves on the I-5 on our way down, we happily meandered back up to the Glorious North via highway 9 and took in the sights of small town America. It’s my favourite thing to do. I love being reminded that for the most part we need to take ourselves less seriously and that if we go a week without a sprouted kale quinoa spirolina smoothie with organic hemp hearts we will still survive. I love one-diner towns where the club sandwich comes deep fried, and I am not being facetious; I actually love things that are deep fried. We come from a super health conscious and outdoorsy community and sometimes being so grass fed is exhausting.

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We took the advice of our forest ranger friend and explored the Mountain Loop Highway on our way back. The Mr. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest is home to this scenic byway that connects Granite Falls to Darrington. It’s a remote stretch of ‘highway’ strung together from logging roads and old wagon trails. Parts are paved, but most of it is a single muddy lane with no shoulder and substantial drop-off. I was happy to pull some knobs on ye old Syncro just for peace of mind.

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I’m actually now noticing that the Mountain Loop highway seems to always reference Forestry Road 20. Imagine my surprise to find quite a few photos of us on Forestry Road 24…we took some detours off the detour, apparently. This explains a lot. Our camp for the night was potentially the most amazing campsite yet: a pull-off next to the river and in the shadows of a massive hollowed out tree. Of course, it rained. It rained because we’ve never actually camped without it raining, and I don’t think I’m exaggerating. Robbie managed to make a fire in a downpour and we cooked our stash from Pike Place Market. There is an amazing market on the way to Granite Falls, so note to self: don’t pay four times market value in Seattle and just buy local next time.

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9 thoughts on “Give me the Loop, give me the Loop.

  1. I think it is so awesome that you still travel for one week every month! Chad and I are determined to do the same when ,and if we move back to the states.
    Also, I think that you cook more gourmet meals camping than I do at home. Haha

    1. It’s been great playing tourist in our own town for the last few months. Our long-term travel goals seem so far away at times, so taking these little trips while we get our #%&^ together is a good way to get motivated and spend really uninterrupted family time together. You caught me taking myself too seriously: if you take the words ‘fingerling’ and ‘heirloom’ out of that meal, it’s basically just steak and potatoes. haha.

  2. really like your blog…. being vanagon owner, I wish I had the time to do it. I can’t I move to pacific Northwest… Nicely done

      1. It is a really spectacular place to live!! Being from the east originally though, I do miss poutine and roadside corn stands. haha. sacrifices. Thanks for the visit and the comments.

  3. HELLO! I just found your blog and think it’s swell. I dig your style. I was hoping you would provide a little bit more insider info regarding the camping spot on Forest Road 20 (or 24?) when you took the Mountain Loop Highway. Always searching for the perfect van-camping stopping point, I’m happy to share my secret van spots too (though, to set expectations properly, I’ve only owned my Vanagon for several months and currently only have 1 really great suggestion). THANKS!!! Ryan

    p.s. Sorry for posting this on two pages. This one seemed more appropriate, so I copied it here

    1. yes, happy to pass it on. here is the resource we were given: http://www.discovernw.org/Free_Publications/Mount_Baker_Snoqualmie_Mountain_Loop_Scenic_Byway.pdf
      And that campsite is kinda hard to explain. . . just a bit past Monte Cristo it starts going downhill and gets a bit windy. We just pulled into every turnoff to check it out. This one is a bit further back in the pull off than you would think, so if there’s a chance to drive further towards the river, take it! No 4×4 necessary here. No Sasquatch living in the hollow tree.
      Thanks for the visit and thanks for the comment! Many more adventures to come.

      1. Thanks, Jess. We were out there this weekend, and while we didn’t find that spot, we found a few others that were pretty excellent. One of them out on FR22, about 3 miles in from the Mtn Loop Hwy – north of where you were – turn left and go down a fairly overgrown jeep track for what feels like 2 miles (probably only 0.5 miles), and you pop out at this AMAZING spot right on the Sauk River.

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